by Brian Fornes
It’s been randomly known ... in some circles ... that Hodala is a team that was built without giving a darn.
Part of this is due to the nature of the Singlespeeder and the culture that has helped cultivate this mentality. The other part can be attributed to the amazing people who repeatedly host events and tolerate us year after year.
Case in point, the fine people at MFG Cyclocross in Seattle have often turned a blind eye, or merely crossed their arms and shook their heads back and forth like a disappointed parent, when our "soup kitchen" of a trailer shows up.
With no intent on traveling to #sscxwc in Italy, you’re welcome Europe, we turned our full attention to the crown jewel of Seattle cyclocross: Woodland Park. In years past we’ve hosted luaus, beach parties, a disco, an 80’s metal fest and have often created a winter wonderland at what has been dubbed "Hodala Corner."
This year’s plan was a little more ambitious, make a "long-cut" with a giant slip-n-slide and foam pit. We figured it would take 30+ pallets, some plywood, a big roll of visqueen, over a dozen bottles of dish soap, three kegs of tasty beer and a leaf blower.
No problem. Right?
Disclaimer, this is not legal in most forms of racing and I’m sure would be punishable at an OBRA race with a DQ and forfeiture of all Rapha apparel. We did not alter the course in any way—we merely created an "option"—and we got permission from MFG in the form of a subtle "Don’t make a mess" response.
To be totally honest, we had NO idea about what everyone would think of the plan and were hopeful that people would partake in the little bit of fun we were trying to create. By the end of the day we were beyond stoked with the number of people who "‘opted in" for the shenanigans and completely blown away when the leaders of the P/1/2 race—Steve Fisher, Spencer Paxson, Russell Stevenson and Kaler Marshall—came to an accord and giggled their way down the "illegal" course option covered in Hodala foam. Keep in mind, the overall series title was still on the line.
Like finding the true meaning of Christmas, I guess it really is possible to race a bike and have some fun.
I’m sure there are some people out there who will find some kind of fault in what we did and maybe claim that these kinds of antics are ruining ’cross. To which my only reply is to crack a beer and salute them in their pursuit of outstanding results in their athletic endeavors.
Meanwhile, we’ll just place another 6-pack in the pit area and continue to spread our own kind of racing around.